Since 2008, a major focus of Injury Free Austin has been to provide "Safe Baby University" to pregnant and parenting teenagers in our community. This program addresses prevention strategies for four leading causes of injury-related death for young children: unintentional suffocation, motor vehicle collisions, inflicted head injury and unintentional drowning.
Safe Baby University is a day-long event that includes teen-focused educational sessions, games and interactive activities, as well as provision of appropriate safety equipment for each of the four focus areas, including sleep sacks, child safety seats, home safety devices, and a resource binder.
The research arm of Safe Baby University is growing. In Year 1, we conducted focus groups with 93 pregnant and parenting teenagers, in order to inform the development of Safe Baby University. In Year 2, we pursued additional questions through a survey designed to evaluate the context in which child safey decisions are made and behaviors take place. In Year 3 we plan to conduct additional focus groups with the parents of the pregnant and parenting student participants. We hope to one day conduct a full-scale evaluation of the program, but in the meantime, are actively engaged in formative and impact evaluation.
Safe Baby University now serves more than 120 pregnant and parenting teenage students from 5 area high schools each year.
We are extremely grateful to the Alcoa Foundation for recognizing the importance of this initiative and supporting the development of Safe Baby University with a grant in 2007. The Alcoa Foundation has truly made a difference in teaching many young members of this community to keep their families safe.